Benfotiamine is a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 (thiamine). Thiamine is needed for normal blood sugar metabolism via a non-oxygen-dependent metabolic pathway called the pentose phosphate pathway.1,2 The products of this pathway are needed for fatty acid, amino acid and nucleotide synthesis. Adequate levels of thiamine are especially critical to supporting� healthy brain function, where cells rely on the pentose phosphate pathway for energy.2 Thiamine also helps encourage the body’s tissues against advanced glycation end products and oxidative stress, making maintaining optimal levels important for supporting cardiovascular and metabolic health.1,3
Unfortunately, thiamine in most supplements (thiamine hydrochloride) is water-soluble, which makes it less available to the interior of the cell. As a fat-soluble form of thiamine, benfotiamine can easily penetrate the inside of cells. It has been shown to support thiamine levels faster and for longer than the water-soluble thiamine.1,3
Thiamine is a cofactor for the pentose phosphate pathway enzyme, transketolase.1 In one study, benfotiamine effectively increased transketolase activity in cell cultures by 300%, compared with 20% for thiamine. This activation helps promote blood vessel health.4 Benfotiamine also supports a healthy inflammatory response in nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) and encourages expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which supports antioxidant activity in cells.3-5
Benfotiamine has further been found to inhibit formation of neurofibrillary tangles and tau protein damage in brain tissue and support healthy lifespan in preclinical studies, as well as maintain endothelial cell function.3,5
Overall, benfotiamine can support healthy glucose metabolism and promote healthy blood glucose levels in those already within normal range. Benfotiamine with Thiamine is a dietary supplement that can help maintain blood sugar levels in those already within normal range and support the health of the nerves, kidneys, eyes, blood vessels and heart.